Do You Have the Right Support?
Most of us can remember a time where our parents questioned our friends as we grew up. While at the time it was an annoyance, it taught us the important lesson of making sure that we surround ourselves with the right people. By selecting a strong group of friends you have created a circle of people that are there to support you, cheer your big accomplishments and help to pull you up when you fall down. That same mindset of surrounding yourself with the “right” people is extremely important as a business owner.
When it comes time to grow the company, or maybe replace an employee that has moved on, don’t just hire the first applicant that comes through the door. It is important to have a process for selecting the right applicant. As you build your staff, these employees will help to make you successful, become part of your team, and help to piece things back together when they fall apart, because every now and then we all make mistakes.
Small business is a fast paced environment. You are fighting to get the upper hand on your competition all while striving to be the best at what you do. With the onslaught of social media and other changes in technology, it’s a never ending quest to stay abreast of new trends.
When your company moves from its infancy into its adolescence, you are sure to feel growing pains. One of the hurdles to overcome is when it becomes clear that you can no longer handle the work load on your own. Or, you’ve reached a growth plateau where your employees can no longer handle the workload and it’s time to bring on a new staff member.
As you reach the point of hiring your first employee, or maybe even your 15th employee, it’s important to do your research so that you hire the right person and not the first body that walks through the door. While this decision is often made while you are struggling to keep up with work, and you are already swamped, be sure to do yourself a favor and properly vet your possible candidates. Hiring the wrong person or a non-team player may take your already overwhelming workload and increase it, causing more pain than relief.
Some important steps to hiring the right person.
- References. It is amazing how many companies ask for references and never even look into them. References are an important part of finding out who the person is that you are looking to hire. It’s also important to check out the person’s social media platforms. Find out who they are outside of the workplace. This will help to determine if they are right for your company’s culture.
- Proper interview. As you interview your prospective employees, take the time to find out who they are. Questions like: What are you passionate about? What is your greatest accomplishment? How do you handle conflict or challenge? Why should I hire you over someone else?
- Trust your gut. While the prospective employee may seem “nice”, what does your gut tell you? As a business owner you have followed your gut on many occasions and it has led you to this point in your business career, so don’t stop listening to it now.
- Multiple rounds of interviews. Be sure to have more than one interview with the person. Include other people in the interviews such as other employees, partners, or mentors. This will help you to get a better prospective on the person being interviewed. Remember that your employees are the ones who will be working with the new recruit every day, and valuing their opinion can help to make a more cohesive workplace.
Owning a business can often times be a roller-coaster – dragging you up the hills and slinging you off the top to freefall to the bottom. While being a business owner is a rewarding experience, having the right team of people around you can help to make that climb uphill a more pleasant one. Take the time to properly vet your prospective employees. The right employees and a strong team can help make your business a success.
About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth